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At CES 2023, Sony and Honda announced their new EV brand partnership, Afeela. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but the product itself is packed with amazing technological features that are sure to blow your mind.
If you’re looking for a Sony powered living room on wheels, this might be the perfect electric vehicle for you. Sony strives to combine Honda’s vehicle building expertise with its technology and entertainment know-how to create the perfect transportation experience.
1. Media bar
The front and rear ends of the futuristic EV sedan feature what Afeela calls the Media Bar. That’s pretty much what it sounds like; a screen that sits centrally between the two headlights (in the case of the front media bar) that displays super important information like the weather and Spider-Man graphics.
Obviously such information is of paramount importance in a car, especially in the Spider-Man promo. On the other hand, the display shows the charging status of the vehicle, which will come in handy.
Imagine leaving your vehicle at a charging station and being able to remotely view the current charging status. Very nice. Hopefully Sony doesn’t have the bright idea of putting ads for its latest movies on owners’ cars.
2. 45 cameras and sensors
The Afeela EV will be a technological marvel when it launches in 2026. According to Afeela, the car will be equipped with various sensors and cameras that will enable the Afeela to function as a Level 3 autonomous vehicle.
Sony and Honda are mixing their respective expertise in developing these systems, and the vehicle will also feature Qualcomm processing power.
3. Media-centric interior
The Afeela isn’t likely to win drag races against the ridiculously fast Model S Plaid, so Sony is banking on its status as a media powerhouse to make the inside of the Afeela the best place to be in electric vehicles.
Sony is the developer of the Playstation, so the interior will likely feature strong support for Playstation titles, and films that fall under the Sony umbrella will likely also be offered on the interior.
Afeela has a huge screen up front like many of the EVs currently on the market, but this screen is probably one of the largest ever installed on a production vehicle.
There are also two smaller screens on the left and right edges that display the rearview mirror feed. Unfortunately, rear-view mirror feeds aren’t legal in some countries, so it will be interesting to see what information Sony makes available on these screens for select markets.
4. Yoke steering device
The Afeela EV sedan takes a giant page out of Tesla’s book on interior design with its yoke steering mechanism. Unfortunately, in the world of EVs (and automobiles in general), everything is copied fast, and like it or not, the yoke is likely to be the next big fad.
The yoke is a matter of taste, but the interior of the Afeela is a little bland. The interior is generic and uninspiring for a vehicle that aims to be the launch pad for Sony’s foray into the e-mobility sector.
5. Design reminds of clear air
The Afeela looks like a mashup of several electric vehicles currently for sale. But for non-enthusiasts, the Afeela could pass for Lucid Air. The similarities are uncanny, even beyond the obvious fact that both vehicles feature extremely slippery bodywork designed for ultimate range.
While some similarities stem from aerodynamic efficiency, they’re almost too similar. However, the Lucid looks a lot better as the Afeela looks generic and dry.
The Sony-Honda Afeela EV still has a long way to go
The Afeela EV has many positive aspects, even if others are not as inspiring. Sony and Honda will have plenty of time to fix the bugs and make modifications where necessary as the Afeela will be unavailable for quite a while.
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